- Sprint sold its mobile advertising platform Pinsight Media to ad tech company InMobi, which plans to combine Pinsight's network-level mobile data with information from apps and mobile web browsers, according to a company announcement. Pinsight uses data from wireless carriers to help marketers reach target audiences on smartphones.
- The acquisition builds on InMobi's plan to boost its mobile ad tech business by incorporating the data management platform to its InMobi Marketing Cloud. The company seeks to provide marketers with a way to reach and engage consumers while remaining compliant with privacy and data protection requirements, per the announcement.
- Pinsight Media was founded in 2012 to help marketers understand their customers with data-led audience insights including location data. The deal follows InMobi's acquisition of AerServ for $90 million in January and its forming a partnership with Microsoft in June. Terms of the latest acquisition weren't disclosed.
InMobi's acquisition of Pinsight likely will help advertisers refine their audience targeting on mobile devices by combine anonymized data about smartphone users with information gleaned from apps and mobile web browsers. The deal gives InMobi the exclusive right to Sprint subscriber data for ads delivered on mobile apps, connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) TV, which could help to give marketers a leg up from competitors in analyzing Sprint customers' mobile information for stronger ad targeting.
Data on smartphone users are increasingly important as audiences shift their viewing habits to mobile devices and telecom companies build out their media businesses, as demonstrated with AT&T's acquisition of media company Time Warner that closed in June. AT&T in June acquired ad technology company AppNexus, giving the company a digital ad sales platform to challenge the Facebook-Google "duopoly." AppNexus runs one of the biggest online ad exchanges, automated marketplaces that let advertisers buy space among thousands of websites to target key audience groups.
The Pinsight sale to InMobi comes as Sprint, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers, awaits regulatory approval on its takeover by rival T-Mobile US. By shedding assets, Sprint may help to curry favor with antitrust officials who are studying whether the T-Mobile acquisition will have a negative effect on consumers.
Mobile advertising in the U.S. is expected to surpass TV ad spending by more than $6 billion this year, eMarketer estimates. The gap will widen by 2022 as mobile spending reaches $141 billion, compared to $68 billion on TV.